tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN May 20, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
barrow. mr. barrow: the that -- i thank the gentleman from wisconsin for his time and his leadership. i want to echo what my good friend, congressman dent, just said. but i want to make an additional point. the folks in georgia sent me to washington to help get things done. not get called up and scoring political points. they're fed up with the hyperpartisanship in congress and that's why i've joined this group. the scandals of the i.r.s. and the justice department contribute to one of the biggest problems in our country right now. americans don't trust their government to do the right thing. the goal of this group is to strengthen. break the gridlock and get democrats and republicans getting things done in congress. we don't think compromise is a dirty word. washington's refusal to respect with one with another means we
are failing this generation and next generation. no labels offers a common ground for lawmakers to negotiate solutions without the blinders of partisan talking points. we have real problems that are crying out for compromise right now and we can't sit here arguing just to get us through the next election. if we do that, we won't be representing the folks any good. my bible says a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches and loving favor more than silver or gold. i believe that both parties have a great deal to contribute to this country and great deal to be had. but the labels, the good names that good forecasts are looking for are problem solvers, and that is why i'm proud to support this group and its work. and i yield back. mr. ribble: i yield three
minutes of time to the gentleman from rhode island, mr. cicilline. mr. cicilline: i thank the gentleman from wisconsin, my friend for yielding. and i want to echo the comments of my friend from georgia, mr. barro. i first came to washington to serve in the house a little more than two years ago after serving mayor for eight years in the city of providence. you have lots of issues that come before you and lots of decisions to make and you have to get things done. you don't have a republican pothole or a democratic tree that needs to be cut, you just have things that need to be done and action that needs to be taken. there are men and women and families of rhode island's first congressional district didn't send me to congress to score political points or engage in political games. they sent me here to get things done and confront the challenges facing the country and my state. and i'm very proud to be a
founding member of the problem solvers of no labels, a coalition that is offering a venue for republicans and democrats to come together and work together and find solutions and govern our nation. and really importantly as my friend from wisconsin said, we have people in no labels who come from a whole range of different ideologies who feel passionately about issues that are important to them and their constituents and make the case in very, very spirited discussions. but we come to it with a willingness to listen to each other and consider each other's views and engage in civil discourse and come to it with a commitment to try to solve problems, to work together, to grow our economy, responsibly cut the deficit, protect critical programs like social security and medicare. there's no question in the last few years, washington has stopped working the way it should. republicans and democrats have grown more with 30-second ads.
washington has failed to do its job. there are real problems facing our country and we need to start working together in the spirit of bipartisanship through global conflict and economic depression and fierce internal political debates. we have come together to get things done and act in the best interests of our country. i know what no labels is committed to and we are committed on both sides of the aisle as part of problem solvers. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i yield back. mr. ribble: i thank the gentleman for his comments. i yield to the gentleman from maine, mr. michaud for three minutes. mr. michaud: thank you very much for yielding and i thank the gentleman from wisconsin for his leadership in the no label problem solving group and i enjoy working with you. i came to congress after serving in maine legislature for 22
years, a place where democrats, independents and republicans did work together to get things done. the house veterans affairs committee works in a bipartisan basis and i'm proud to serve on the committee. chairman miller and myself work very well together along with our committee members to try to find solutions to problems that our veterans are facing today and doing it in a nonpartisan way and that's how things should work. however, i do remain concerned about congress and washington as a whole. there is too much division, gamesmanship and too little cooperation. but the group that you see here tonight on this floor that i'm speaking is a group that gives me hope, a group that individuals, republicans, democrats from all different facets of life, from different parts of the country, are willing to sit down and work together to get things done. and i'm very proud to join my
fellow problem solvers because it's long past time to work together and get things done for americans. thank you very much. mr. speaker. and i yield back. mr. ribble: i thank the gentleman for yielding back and i remember very clearly, mr. speaker, i have been in congress only a few days and president of the united states came into this chamber for the state of the union address and my good friend from maine invited me to sit with him and we began a relationship to continue to work together the last few years. thank you very much for coming to the floor tonight and i yield three minutes to the gentleman valadao. ornia, mr. mr. valadao: i have seen water shortages and high unemployment. and while there are many ways to address each of these issues and we may not always agree on the best course of action, one thing
is clear. americans are sick of the gridlock in washington. congress cannot continue to be sidetracked by political games and the same -- at the same time expect real progress to be made. we must put aside our political differences and come together to do what is best for the american people. that's why i joined the problem solvers coalition, the group that is made up of republicans and democrats alike who are committed to focusing on policy, not politics. we meet on a regular basis to discuss, debate and find common ground on the most pressing issues of our day. and only through a mutual understanding and respect we will begin to address the serious issues our nation faces and move forward together. thank you. and i yield back. mr. ribble: i thank the gentleman for his comments and yielding. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. owens.
mr. owens: thank you for conducting this hour this evening. you know, as i travel around my district in upstate new york, which forms the convergence of vermont, quebec and new york, i hear a couple of questions from my constituents. the first is about jobs and the second is why can't you fellows work together. no labels is a big part of that answer. we must work at the process of discussing issues, of gathering facts, and i want to repeat that, of gathering facts, then discussing those facts, and then reaching compromise. that is what the american people sent us here to do and that's why i came to congress 3 1/2 years ago.
we all recognize that no one, no party, no group, has a monopoly n good ideas nor on the facts. i urge all of my colleagues in congress to work with us so that we will develop the kind of relationships, the kind of action, the kind of motivation that allows us to work for our friends and neighbors at home, those who we call constituents. and i yield back. mr. ribble: i thank the gentleman for his comments. and i yield three minutes of time to the gentleman from california, mr. bera. mr. bera: thank you to my colleague from wisconsin for organizing this and my colleague from new york. i'm honored to be here with colleagues from both sides of
the aisle. as you have heard us talking about the problem solvers, that's what we are elected to do, some solve problems. one of the first organizations i joined when i got here was the no labels organization. one of the first bills that i had the honor of co-sponsoring was the no budget, no pay legislation. what a novel idea putting together a budget. that was an idea that came out of the problem solvers. sponsored that bill and put it forth and lo and behold, the house of representatives has a budget, the senate has a budget and the president has a budget. we have to continue moving forward. and that is what this organization allows us to do. it brings democrats and republicans together to have a conversation, to listen to one another and to solve problems. we aren't going to agree on everything. in fact, a divided government,
it isn't necessary that we agree on everything. we want to have all the ideas. and we aren't asking anyone to give up their convictions. what we are asking, listen to one another. share the ideas that are being put out there and then finding the common ground. so we can start working together on that common ground moving forward and addressing the challenges that our nation faces. we don't have to look too far back in our history to see how this works. the great speaker, tip o'neill worked with president reagan to address our debt and deficit but to also strengthen social security. president clinton was able to work with speaker newt gingrich to not only balance our budget but create budget surpluses. the american people expect us to start working together. i gow up in a country that always talked about what we
could do and focused on the challenge of the day. it is time we started coming together as democrats and republicans and time we started solving problems. that's why i'm glad to be here and be a co-chair of the problem solvers and i yield back. mr. ribble: i would like to yield three minutes time to the entlelady from hawaii. mr. gabbard: i thank you for bringing together members from all parts of the country and representing many diverse view points. for me, one thing that i often hear every time i go home is a sense of frustration from constituents and people within my community, why can't congress get anything done? what are you doing and is there hope, any way to fix this mess that we seem to be in. and i was talking to some of my republican colleagues, new members, and i found that the
answer that we were giving people when they expressed their frustration was the same and that was the hope that we see every day as we do our work every day lies in the fact that collectively we have a mandate from those in our community to work together to do the people's work and remember every single day that the most important thing that we share in common is that we serve at the pleasure of our constituents, as representatives, as voices for the people. and to me, that's what this problem solvers caucus is all about. republicans and democrats coming together, finding these practical real solutions that will allow us to make true progress in the spirit of service. and as my colleagues know, i often talk about we talk in hawaii, the spirit of aloha to have a conversation that you disagree with, but respect, and listen to and have a true
conversation to come up with the best idea and best solution on how we can serve the people. earlier today, i had the opportunity to go with some of my colleagues, bipartisan group of us new members to the tomb of the unknown soldier and we lay a wreath there at the tomb as we head into memorial day and had an opportunity to reflect on the great sacrifices that have been made in the history of our country. and it gave me personally the opportunity to remember some of the sacrifices that my friends and battle buddies have made and it reminded me about what our responsibility is to honor them. and it reminded me that there are no labels when you are in a foxhole. that there are no labels when you are walking on a patrol. and when these great heroes are out serving our country, there is no label identifying their party affiliation.
their religious practice, the community they come from, because they understand it's about one team, one fight, serving one awesome nation. and that's our responsibility here, to serve in that same spirit and recognize we have many problems that need to be solved now, not next month, next year or after the next election cycle, that we have to stand up and honor them and work together to find our common ground and pursue these commonsense solutions and if we do that, we will truly honor them and embrace the trust that has been in place with us. thank you. i yield back. mr. ribble: i thank the gentlelady for yielding and thank her for mentioning our veterans. my own father left the mainland in 1945 and went to pearl harbor before going into the pacific theater and i couldn't help but think he would want this he very
thing to happen here and come here and spend our time honoring the sacrifice that those men and women made in finding solutions for the american people making the american nation a better place to live, work, study and grow up and excel, become the type of people we can become. thank you for your comments. i yield three minutes to my good friend from illinois, chicago ear fan himself, mr. lipinski. mr. lipinski: i thank mr. reid ribble for yielding. i want to stand here on the republican side of the well to just express how important it is that we stand here together. as mr. ribble just mentioned, talking about our veterans, i was at an early memorial day commemoration yesterday and people aren't talking about
democrats an republicans, we're talking about the men and women who have given their lives for our country. standing together, fighting together to maintain our freedom. today, we see too much division here in washington. my background is in engineering. engineers are problem solvers. i came to congress eight-plus years ago determined to solve problems. but as our nation's problems have gotten bigger, congress has gotten smaller. not small for the size, certainly not small for the ego, but smaller in the capacity to get things done. my constituents see this. what they want to see is washington working together, to help with job creation, work on reducing our debts, and to work on solving the many other problems that we face.
instead, we keep fighting in washington. now where i come -- they see fighting in washington. where i come from in chicago, we know that when we are sent to do a job, there's a bottom line -- et the job done. businesses, families, organizations know, if they're going to survive, they must solve problems. it's time for washington to get this. because we must come together and face the issues. that's what problem solvers and no labels are all about. come together not to lose the fact that we're republicans and democrats, liberals or conservatives but to work to solve problems. because we must do this. if we do not, we'll be failing the american people.
failing our constituents. those who have sent us here. if we do come together, we can work to solve some of these problems and make sure that america's brightest, america's best days, are still ahead of us. the american people are couldn'ting on us. i'm glad to stand here tonight with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, i thank mr. ribble for leading this here tonight in saying, we are united to solve problems, we are no labels, we are not going to solve the problems overnight but this is where we need to start. let the american people know that there are members of congress, there are people in washington who want to work together and solve these problems and i pledge my support to my colleagues here, we are going to work together and america's brightest days are yet
to come. i yield back to mr. ribble. mr. ribble: i thank the gentleman for yielding, and his comments. and i have to say if a green bay packers fan like myself and a chicago bears fan like mr. lipinski can get together and talk about things, if we can talk about that we can talk about anything. it was around christmastime, 2009, where i beam convicted about possibly running for congress the first time. i'm in my second term, mr. speaker. i came here to this chamber not just to represent the citizens of northeast wisconsin but i came here because i believe that the fabric of trust between the american people and its government has been torn. but fabric torn can be mended. it can be mended by common thread, common thread that binds us together not as republicans and democrats, men and women,
but common thread that binds us together as americans. the common thread can only be used if it's found. common thread can only be found if you seek it. one of the reasons that i feel we sometimes can't repair this torn fabric, because it's so difficult to find the common ground. the common ground can indeed be found when representatives are willing to seek it out. you know, mr. speaker, our foundersest tab learned a representative republic and instructed us, they said if we can find agreement, do those things. but if we couldn't find agreement, they warned us as well. they said that where you can't find agreement, it might be best for you not to do those things until you can find agreement. so we have to go out and look for it, i can talk to my republican colleagues every single day, in many respects, it's like preaching to the choir
and i think that preaching to the choir is a fine thing. you often preach to the choir because you want them to sing but the fact of the matter is, i have agreement with my republican colleagues on most things. not everything, but on most things. so therefore i must go and talk to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. the fastest way to mend that torn fabric is by meeting people. by building trust. by taking the time to understand them. and then seeking for the areas of common ground. to find the common thread that binds us together. and when we find that, we can begin to repair the torn fabric between the american people and its government. that's really what we've been sent here to do. we have been sent here to find and solve problems. not fight about them. disagreement will be -- disagreement will happen. in fact, you can look historically in this chamber there has been a lot of disagreement, dates back to the beginning of our nation's
founding, but there's also been a lot of agreement. think about the differences from 1787 to today. think about the america that exists today. in much -- and much of it exists because the men and women sent by the citizens of their districts to lead came here and through statesmanlike qualities were willing to lead. they had the courage to make tough decisions. and then lead this country to the place it is today. i am filled with hope about america. i'm filled with hope because of the colleagues that i work with here. i'm filled with hope, mr. speaker, because of men like you. i thank you for your time tonight and i thank my colleagues for their time and with that, mr. speaker, i'd like to yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman yields back his time. under the speaker's announced
policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. jeffries: i asknanimous consent that all members be given five days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. jeffries: mr. speaker, it's an honor and privilege to once again have this opportunity to anchor the c.b.c. special order along with my very disting westerned colleague, my good friend from the silver state, epresentative steven horsford, where for the next 60 minutes, during this hour of power, members of the congressional black caucus will have an opportunity to speak directly to the american people about the sues facing higher education here in america. we are at a crisis moment.
as it relates to our capacity to make sure that we can provide an affordable college education to as many americans as possible. the problem that we in this country confront is two-fold. first, the cost of a college education keeps going up but the amount of financial aid available to younger americans keeps coming down. as a result, higher education is increasingly out of reach, particularly for low-income americans or working families or the sons and daughters of the middle class. and a college education is a pathway to the american dream. so the fact that it's increasingly out of reach is incredibly problematic.
for this great country. compounding that fact, secondly -- secondaryly, is the fact that the amount -- secondarily is the fact that the amount of student loan debt for young americans has increased exponentially and if the congress doesn't act in advance of july 1, then the interest rate for federally subsidized student loans will double in its amount. it will increase from its 6.8%. rate of 3.4% to this increase will impact more than seven million younger americans. it's a crisis that we must confront. the c.b.c. today will lay out a vision for how we can deal with the immediate crisis that we
confront that's approaching, as we march toward july 1, as well as idea for tackling the broader issue of college affordability. many of our members will also lay out the problems with the g.o.p. approach as represented n h.r. 1911, which will only make the problem worse. not better. i've been pleased, or we're pleased that so many of my distinguished colleagues have joaned us today to participate in this special order and to get us started is our eloquent, dynamic leader, the chairperson of the congressional black caucus, representative marcia fudge. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. i want to thank my colleagues, congressman jeffries and congressman horsford, for once
again leading the special order hour. ms. lee: i cannot think of a more timely top ex-- ms. fudge: i cannot think of a more timely topic for a special -- special order. george washington carver once said education is the key to unlock the golden door of free freeh dom. nowhere is this truer than in this country where we know for a fact that access to a quality education is the ladder to a better and richer tomorrow. providing access to education is in america's very d.n.a. and it goes back to when two of our founding fathers, benjamin franklin and thomas jefferson, established state universities. this tradition continued in 1862 when president lincoln signed the moral land grant act to create land grant colleges, an effort to promote higher education for working class citizens. nearly 100 years later,
president lyndon johnson signed the higher education act of 1965. and thus the pell grant was created. today, an affordable college education is more important than ever in this country's history. in the next decade, 6 % of all jobs will require at least some post-secondary education. and in order to compete for jobs of the future, our children must be equipped and not saddled with debt. congress has a duty to ensure that federal education system is both affordable and accessible. on july 1, if congress does not act, rates for college students taking out subsidized department of education loans are scheduled to double from 3.4% to 6.8%. unfortunately, mr. speaker, this week the house will -- the place
affectionately referred to as the people's house, believe it or not, will consider a bill that would do more harm than good. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would bring the so-called smarter solutions for students act to the house floor this bill is not a smart solution. in fact, it is in the a solution at all. it actually makes it more expensive for students and parents than if congress did nothing and let the interest rates rise. to be clear, i want to assure all americans that all americans know exactly what republicans are proposing. the congressional budget office found that this bill will cost students and parents $3.7 billion in additional student loan interest, and those charges will be over a 10-year period. so why propose such a bill? why would members of congress, in the people's house, claim
that this is a good boil? believe it or not, this legislation -- a good bill. believe it or not, this is an attempt to move closer to a balanced budget on the backs of college students. yes, we will vote on this bill this week that seeks to decrease he deficit on the backs of a generation, yet still no jobs bill. this legislation totally ignores the fact that default rates are exceedingly high due to the recession and unemployment, nearly 20% of student loan borrowers behind in payments, so why increase it more? in addition to the student loan crisis, the department of education plus loan crisis, another crisis that is breathing down the backs of college students. over the last few years,
thousands of students have been sent home from colleges because their loans have lost millions in revenues. the c.b.c. met with secretary dunk and and requested that the department reverse course to stop the bleeding. as a result, the department is sending out notifications in an effort to get students back into schools and hearings will be held. college presidents, students and parents must speak up and demand a change. the c.b.c. will continue to push back and speak out as the future of student loan programs is debated. we will not stand by and watch congress or the department of education hurt our students' chances of a better tomorrow, not on our watch. i yield back. mr. jeffries: thank you, chairwoman fudge, for laying out both the history in this great country in investing in higher education whether it is in the
private school context or public school context and making sure consistently that our young people are prepared for the challenges of the modern-day economy, which will increasingly require a college degree, if not a graduate degree, and significant training. that is why we at the c.b.c. feel it important to make college more affordable, not less affordable, as the g.o.p. proposal would do. we have also been joined by our very distinguished colleague from the lone star state, who has been a tremendous champion on this issue and on many others in the congress. and i now yield to representative sheila jackson lee, from the great city of houston.
ms. jackson lee: allow me to thank both of my very good friends, the gentleman from new york and the gentleman from from nevada for really answering the call of the american people. the first amendment guarantees the freedom of speech. but i think the most important part of speech is information. thank you for the opportunity to share with our colleagues and share with america the pending crisis. if i might just quote from an article in "the houston chronicle" by a writer in the early part of february, that said, like a hurricane churning across the gulf of mexico, the looming federal sequestration threatens everything in its path if the deep federal budget cuts actually take place, and he was talking about back in february, they will be damaged somewhere, perhaps a lot of somewheres. so today we are standing on the floor of the house embracing
some of the historic comments as relate to the african-american community and other american communities about the value of education. how many of us have been told by our parents, that it was the key to opportunity. how many of us recognize by listening to the words of dr. benjamin hayes who was an educator, who spoke to the slaves rising from the ashes to do good. and from the book from booker t. washington, it is a question of those who could pull their buckets up from where they stand to be carp enters, painters and others. but to learn something to be educated. i stand sadly on this floor, mr. jeffries and acknowledge as i speak, one of my boards is having a meeting. they are a school district, not higher education as we talk
about tonight, but it plays into this, because there is a siege upon education in america. that board and that community, the north forest independent school district is fighting with every breath in their body to keep from closing after they have successfully succeeded in reaching the goals that were given to them, but our governor, governor rick perry, is opposed to their survival. our commissioner, michael williams, is opposed to their survival and as well, what a contrast when a few days ago, he staged another school district, african-american, but with the same proposal that north forest has. i stand on the floor today to acknowledge, is the sooge continuing? it seems to be. because right now our republican friends, this house, refuses to have a conference in the budget, a conference in the budget might put us in a better position than what we will be doing today,
h.r. 1911 and might put us in a better position than what the department of education has had to do with the reconfiguration on the parent-plus loan. i ask why the conference has not been called. why are we on the backs of people who who are suffering. why are we on the backs of those in north texas who are suffering from tornadoes or the disaster today where we don't know how many lives were lost. why don't we have a budget conference? why are we suffering? and i thank you, mr. horsford, for this initiative to show what it means to get an education. this is what our parents told us. less than a high school diploma, eekly earnings, $4501. bachelor's ent, degree, $1,053.
this is a 2012 document and i want to call out these numbers of unemployment. higher when you don't have a high school education, almost 15% and growing. 10% for a high school education and of course, the numbers go down. so it is of great concern that we now are facing legislation that is going to take the fact -- let me just stop and say that. someone says we want to take the fat out, that is going to go to the bone of individuals who are simply trying to get an education. sequestration is cutting education programs. i met some people on an airplane that said all my programs from rice university got cut because of sequestration and now my friends want to bring h.r. 1911 rather than listening to what we could do, i introduced h.r. 900 with john conyers that said
let's end the sequestration. let me just say these few words as i discuss these boards very quickly. right now, it is noted that student borrowing is widespread and more than $100 billion in federal education loans are distributed every year. what that means is that that is a debt that we are putting on the children of america. historically black college like southern university in houston has 81% of the students receiving some form of student assistance. received $85 million in student financial aid. it has -- let me say this, in terms of student loans debt, 92% of those students are african-american. 5% of hispanic students. 85% of native-american students and multi-racial students and 77% are white students. last year, i introduced the
college literacy finance and economics act of 2011 to help our students manage their debt. now we find ourselves facing an uphill battle. and that is the introduction of this legislation that i believe is probably the worst that we could ever have. let me explain it to you and see what h.r. 1911 does. we are 3.4%. that looks like it's reasonable. if this bill passes this week, by july 1, we will be up to 6.8% -- by july 1, if we don't do anything, 6.8%. if we pass h.r. 1911, we will be interest. 109 in isn't this a disgrace, a shame, on a nation that encourages our young people whether they go in business or not, to get an education. and then as mr. jeffries
mentioned, the congressional black caucus has taken on the burden, a horrific burden that has been put on our parents. parent-plus. i looked at the numbers and university of texas houston, the parents-plus program cost students to drop out by the thousands. i thank the chair woman fudge for waking up this issue along with our members in our education committee from the congressional black caucus, because this is what is happening under the parent-plus program, already bad in terms of the interest paid $27,956. look at what will happen under .r. 1911 to pay 28%,
$35,000,848. the parents get ill, if the parents lost their job and other children to take care of and one student that they invested in and tried to get the others them onme up and burden top of that, the student who is trying to increase their income. i would simply say that we're facing tragedy in our country with bad weather. but we're facing a tsunami of disaster on the floor of the house with the lack of a budget, with the sequester that is now getting into the seams of our light by causing enormous debt and legislative initiatives that are unwise and devastating. so i would ask today that we move on the budget conference and i ask the speaker to bring up h.r. 900, see him will
septemberens, it says to remove the sequestration from the 2011 budget act and go back to regular order. many of us are looking to amendments offered by mr. -- the gentleman from connecticut, mr. courtney, whose legislation we support ded last year, but we want anything that this devastating bill is going to sthatch the opportunity and dignity of education from those who are trying. i close on the remarks of president obama. s he spoke to the historic morehouse college this past sunday and thank him for visiting those young men. he talked about a young man who had a rough upbringing, a difficult upbringing and congratulated that young man because that man graduated from the college and going on to harvard law school. i can assure you that that young
-- the his own, own young man in those colleges, have loans and depend upon financial aid, generally speaking. and so what mr. obama conveyed to those young men that the sky's the limit. there should be no obstacles in front of you. keep climbing up the ladder. we stand here on the floor this week to snatch the very promise of education out of the hands of those students no matter what race they are, snatch it out of their hands with a devastating, crafty, expensive trick erie such as h.r. 1911. i pray, as i go to my seat, i pray that wisdom will take charge and that members of congress will come together and defeat h.r. 1911 and put on the
floor of the house, the legislation that has been offered by many on this side of the aisle to be able to ensure that those individuals, parents and children, continue to claim the american dream no matter where you walk from, no matter what story you have to tell, no matter your racial or ethnic background i'm glad the c.b.c. is standing here to tell our story and speak for america and with that, i yield back. and i thank the gentleman for his courtesy. mr. jeffries: i thank the distinguished gentlelady from the great state of texas for laying out in very clear terms the two different visions that exist here in the house of representatives as it relates to how to deal with access to higher education. the c.b.c.'s vision is a clear one. we want to increase opportunity to a college agree, because we recognize it's a gateway to the
american dream. the other side, unfortunately, has put forth a plan that will help snatch that opportunity away, make it more expensive, increase the debt burden. . unfortunately this fits within a broader dichotomy as to how we approach the problems in america. we believe in a balanced approach that invests in america and prepares our young people for the challenges of they have 21st century economy. but the other side seems to have taken the approach that they are going to balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable here in america and that includes young people who are trying to pursue a college education. that's what their budget
proposal says. take away 168 -- take away $168 billion in higher education funding and then at the same time, when on july 1, student loan rates may double, put forth a bill that has been arctic pated -- articulated to have made the problem worse if in fact it is ever enacted into law. we are pleased that we've been joined once again by my distinguished co-anchor, stephen horsford, who represents the great state of nevada and so i now yield to my good friend, congressman horsford. mr. horsford: thank you, mr. speaker. and to my co-anchor, my friend and creag, the gentleman from new york, representative jeffries, i appreciate your leadership and the leadership of
the congressional black cu -- caucus in focusing this hour on such an important issue as the cost, the increasing cost of attending higher education in this country. you know, mr. speaker, this week graduations are being held across the country. families are celebrating the achievements of students who have worked hard for the last four years or more to earn their degree. so i find it ironic that on this week, when americans are celebrating the achievements of students who have worked so hard, that my leagues on the other side would propose such a hypocritical piece of 1911. tion as h.r. h.r. 1911 is nothing but a bait
and switch scheme that makes attending college more expensive. can you imagine that? proposing a piece of legislation that costs the american people more to go to college? people are already struggling to go to college as it is. according to the c.b.o. estimates, federal student interest rates will be higher than current fixed rates for millions of borrowers. that means that if you're financing your college now, it's likely you'll be paying more once you graduate under the republican plan than you would today. h.r. 1911 makes student loan interest rates change year to year based on the 10-year treasury note marked up by 2.5% to 4.5%. so to be plain, when next year's
freshman -- freshmen graduate and start strog repay their loans in 2017, their interest rate on that loan, taken out in their freshman year, is projected to be 7.4%. more than double today's current 3.4% rate for subsidized stafford loans. for a freshman starting college this fall who borrows the maximum annual loan under the department of education, their subsidized and unsubsidized loan program, they will pay about $2,000 more in interest under h.r. 1911. now why is this so appalling? we recently learned that the department of education this year alone is expected to make $51 billion in profits off of students financing their education.
now some of you may ask, how is it that the department of education is making a $51 billion profit when american families and students are struggling to even pay the tuition costs that they have. you know, we teach our children that it's important to save, to be responsible with their money, and to get a good education. with the system set up the way it is right now, those goals are mutually exclusive. how are students supposed to save, when will they be able to pay off a record $1.1 trillion in tet that they are saddled with now? it was just reported that there is more debt on student loans than there are in credit card payments in america. how do we begin to consider to plan their lives, to prepare to buy a home, when they're trapped
under a mountain of debt? i have students that come to me when we have congress on our college campuses and they express great fear and trepidation about their future. hey're working so hard, i have single parents who are literally taking every dollar from the two jobs that they work to be able to afford their college tuition. and i cannot go back to them and tell them that my colleagues on the other side proposed a bill that makes the college costs for their loans to double. it's unacceptable. it's unacceptable when companies like j.p. morgan chase, bank of america, citigroup, and wells fargo report a combined profit
of $51.9 billion and the department of education has the same amount of profits as those four companies combined. and so, mr. speaker, my colleagues in the congressional black caucus, i've got to say we have to tackle h.r. 1911, we have to figure out a way to come with amendments to keep the interest rates on college loans at 3.4% as they are now. or to ensure that they are capped at a level that is predictable for students. but we also have to address this other underlying issue. it is not fair to american students that they are working harder and harder, that their families are struggling, and yet there's a billion dollar profit that's going to the department of education, a $51 billion
profit that comes back and goes to the treasure ai -- treasury to pay down the debt and yet corporations continue to get tax incentives and corporate subsidies. enough is enough, mr. speaker. enough is enough. when are we going to require major corporations to do their part. enough is enough. college students in america have worked too hard. falllies have struggled for too long. the hope of a college education that so many people strive for is costing more and more and now my colleagues on the other side want it to cost even more. and so we're here tonight to say, no. that is not going to happen. not on our watch. and we're going to fight and work hard until it does not. now, i've got two questions to
my colleagues and then i'm going to yield back the time. #cbctalks and i asked my constituents to send in a question or two i could respond to. i was asked by constituent david webb a counselor, he said, wouldn't increasing student loans, the student loan interest rate, discourage minorities' ability to go to college? absolutely. the answer to that is, yes. if the cost to attend college and take out loans for college will double it's already too high now, too many students are forgoing their chance to get a college education because think -- they can't afford it. this will just make it worse.
i was also asked by constituents -- by constituent, troy amaro, he asked if h.r. 1330 is passed, using the 10-10 scenario, what happens to the rest of the debt that's unpaid? i want to thank him for his question and i know we are working on the student loan fairness act, which offers a 10 to 10 repayment plan that would require borrowers to make 10 years of payments on their federal student loans at a 10% rate of their discretionary income. and then once that's period -- then once that period is done, the loan would be forgiven. those are the types of solution that we need to be working on so that college can be more affordable for the american student and the american family. and i'm hope to feel my co-anchor and to the members of
the congressional black caucus that we will continue to rise -- to raise our voice on this issue and to make it clear that the proposal by our colleagues on the other side, h.r. 1991, is not a solution. it is costing the american people more for college at a time when they can least afford it. i yield back. mr. jeffries: i thank the distinguished gentleman for raising some very eloquent points and doing it in such a thoughtful and passionate way. these are solutions, mr. speaker, that we realy should be discussing in the context of a conference committee to come to some resolution around the budget. now for about four years, members of the other side of the aisle were complaining about the absence of regular order. but this year, we passed a budget in the house of
representatives in march, the senate then passed their budget plan. in the same month. the president came back in april, after we got back from recess, presented his budget. the next step in regular order which the house g.o.p. has been asking for for four years would be to appoint conferees so the senate and house can sit down and work it out, discuss some solutions that representative horsford and other representatives of the american people have put forth to deal with our economic situation, make higher education more affordable, and provide businesses with the certainty that they need. so the question is, what is the house g.o.p. afraid of? why haven't you appointed conferees so we can sit down and have a discussion to work out
the issues and the problems that are confronting the american people. we've been joined by another distinguished member of the freshman class, the newest, or one of the newest members of the house of representatives, representative robin kelly from the great state of illinois. ms. kelly: thank you, mr. jeffries. this weekend three students very close to me celebrated college graduation. grace ben in it -- bennett, elizabeth -- these three young people represent the best and brightest we have to offer. congratulations, grace, amelia, and whitney. they are just three students who celebrated their college graduations this weekend. it's a joyous time but for some
also a nervous time because more students than ever are walking across the stage weighed down by student loan debt. the cost for a college degree gone up. 2/3 of students graduate with an average student loan debt of $25,000. today, 37 million students are facing student loan debt and the total student loan debt burden tops $1.1 trillion. the mounting student debt is stunting the growth of a generation of graduates who are facing a tough job market and high student loan payments, are putting off key milestones such as buying a house, starting a family, which further stifles the country's economic recovery. the problem is most acute among students of color, with 81% of african-americantu